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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

NASA Speaks on Weight & Performance of the Ares I/Orion

Scott Horowitz, NASA's Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Talks about the reports of overweight/under performance of the Ares I & Orion programs.

This caught my eye

Horowitz also downplayed the notion put forth by some that you might use two "Ares IV" vehicles - one for crew, the other for the lunar lander, as an alternate way to get humans to the Moon. Among other things he said that such an approach would require dramatic changes to the LSAM (lander).

How can any change to a paper design be "dramatic"? I have said it before and I will say it again, NASA needs to be more agile and less rigid in its designs if any of this is to work long term.

1 comment:

L. Riofrio said...

Thanks for the link, by the way. From the talks I heard at SPACE2006, the lunar lander design is very much in flux. Much depends on whether it will stage in orbit, like the 1960's LEM, or drop a stage during descent. The latter involves an engine start while descending, but allows for a much lighter lander. The lander may then be light enough to land and take off in one piece without leaving a descent stage behind.